26.1 C
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Marriage among Americans hits record low poll

A quarter of US 40-year-olds have never married, up 5% from the previous census, Pew Research has found

Married Americans make up a smaller portion of the population than ever, according to a Pew Research Center paper published on Wednesday analyzing Census Bureau data from 2021. 

Fully a quarter (25%) of Americans aged 40 have never been married, the researchers found – a 5% jump since the previous census in 2010. Just 22% of the unmarried 40- to 44-year-olds were living with a partner outside of marriage. Individuals were more likely to have remained single if they were male, black, or had not graduated high school.

The percentage of Americans unmarried at 40 has been growing since 1980, when it hit a low of 6% following a steady decline. Pew cautioned that the trend did not necessarily mean Americans were forsaking marriage – a quarter of the 40-year-olds who remained unmarried in 2001 had tied the knot by the time they were 60, for example. 


Read more

Americans express paycheck fears – poll

However, with a majority of young Americans living with their parents for the first time since the Great Depression thanks to persistent economic woes compounded by the Covid-19 shutdown, couples may feel less pressure to strike out on their own.

Millennials – born between 1981 and 2000 – have become the first generation to remain majority-unmarried into their 30s, Pew found in 2020. However, they were also much more likely to be cohabitating with a partner outside of marriage and to have had children out of wedlock.

While single parenthood is extremely common in the US – 41% of women who gave birth in 2020 were unmarried – a growing number of Americans look down on it, a poll conducted in 2021 and published last year found. Nearly half of those polled said single motherhood was bad for society, and nearly a quarter believed even cohabitation without being married was equally so. Both figures have increased since 2018.


At the same time as the marriage rate has declined, the number of babies being born in the US is also hitting record lows. The CDC revealed earlier this month that the birthrate – which hit a 30-year low in 2019 – has continued to drop after a brief recovery during the pandemic and remains beneath the 1.7 births per woman needed to sustain the population at current levels. Childless couples have pointed to economic stresses as the primary reason for delaying or opting out of reproduction.

June 30, 2023 at 01:07AM

Related Stories

Most Popular Articles